I attended an online conference for my continued professional development. Vaginismus and Dyspareunia: A Multidisciplinary Approach Virtual Conference
First picture (for attention!) is of some art work by Jamie McCartney, “The great wall of vagina”, shown to us to reinforce the great and beautiful variety.
Quote I liked from the artist, “It’s not vulgar, it’s vulva!”
I decided against showing you the surgical pictures of the inside of a laparoscopy, showing endometriosis and polyps instead.
As a counsellor accredited with the BACP, and hypnotherapist registered with the General Hypnotherapy Register, this is something that is important to do every year (at least 30 hours worth).
I chose this topic as it is something I have an interest and passion in helping women and couples. I already have knowledge and experience in working in this area, but it is so important to keep up to date with the latest clinical research and understanding how different clinical teams approach this subject.
Pain and involuntary tightening of the muscles in the pelvis area can lead to all sorts of discomfort and blockages - sexually, emotionally, and for various treatments such as examinations and fertility. A lot of women do not even realise this condition exists and can go many years suffering in silence and feeling they are doing something wrong (you are not!).
There were speakers from a psychology and therapeutic perspective, a physiotherapist, and a gynaecological approach.
I have always believed that to help a client with this, it needs a multidisciplinary approach. I also believe that I can add more to just a clinical and CBT therapy approach (advocated on this conference). I believe those can be helpful, absolutely, but often, can take a very long time or not work at all.
This is where adding in energy healing, clearing and communicating with the body can take the understanding and healing to that next level.
If you choose to work with me, I will take things at your pace and respect your goals. It is not always about getting to penetration. It may be getting comfortable with your body or getting comfortable in asserting your boundaries as you feel pressure to do more than you desire (perhaps sexually, perhaps outside the bedroom too).
The conference shared that having depression or/ anxiety is a common condition with women reporting these symptoms of pain in the vulva and pelvis muscle area. So working on alleviating the symptoms of mental health can be very helpful in managing pain better in the body too.
Another stand out for me was the misplaced assumption that if a client presents with vaginismus there is a history of abuse. This may be true in some cases but often things such as a bad experience with their first tampon or growing up hearing scare stories of sex can be just as influential.
The other side of this client group is secondary vaginismus. This means women who have enjoyed penetrative sex in the past but then experience these painful and contracting issues after a traumatic birth or stressful divorce or life event.
Perhaps they have IBS or Endometriosis. These muscles are all connected and can influence sex too.
Any questions on how we can work together, please get in touch - happy to help.